The FLR F-II Pro Road Race shoes use a lot of technology trickled down from the top of FLR's range and offer a comfortable fit and decent ventilation when the weather gets warm. If you have any performance aspirations, though, you might find the soles a little too flexible.
I recently tested FLR's top end F-XX Strawweight shoes and I liked them lot as a good, all-round race shoe, and the F-IIs are similar, especially when it comes to the fit.
The microfibre upper is a single piece design and it feels soft against your foot when the closure system is tightened. The F-IIs use a cable system made by Atop for the upper two thirds of the tongue, with a dial pulling the cable through three metal loops. The beauty of this type of system is that it spreads the tension all across the top of your foot without any pressure points.
It has tiny increments, too, so you can tweak how tight the shoes are on the fly.
The pliable upper and tongue mean that when tightened it doesn't bunch up or crease, so no pressure points there either.
A Velcro strap is used at the bottom but it doesn't really do a whole it in terms of retention.
Ventilation is good thanks to plenty of air holes covering the upper and tongue, plus there are larger mesh vents above the toes. There's one underneath the toes on the sole too.
Over Easter, temperatures were touching 25°C here and I was wearing the F-IIs while out for a three-hour ride and they were surprisingly cool, especially when I was descending or cruising along on the flat. Those vents above the toes are the most effective as you can feel the breeze blowing in.
FLR calls the sole used here the R250 and it's constructed from nylon, although there is no mention of it being carbon-reinforced, which is probably why there is so much flex in it. Pedalling hard uphill or when sprinting, I could feel the sole bend a bit and create pressure around the cleat area.
I'd say these shoes are more suited to audax or those rides where you aren't trying or needing to deliver maximum power. If I just went out for an easy recovery day I didn't notice any issues with them at all.
The soles are compatible with all three-bolt systems like SPD-SL, Look and so on, and they have large rubber bumpers front and rear to aid walking.
Build quality is pretty exceptional with all of the stitching looking impeccable. Where the uppers have been attached to the outsole you won't see any excess glue either. The reflective detailing on the rear is a nice touch too.
Since testing the Scott Comp Lace shoes back in January last year they have become my go-to shoes for when I'm going out for a steady ride, especially in the winter as the laces make the fitting of overshoes easy. They cost £85.99, so just a little less than these F-IIs at £89.99.
The shoes are pretty similar, both having comfortable uppers and nylon soles, although the Scotts are stiffer, but on the flip side the FLRs are a much better overall quality and they have that cable lacing system.
For an extra tenner over the FLRs, you could go for the Bont Riot Buckle, which use a fibreglass tub for the sole which is very stiff, plus they are heat-mouldable. That said, I often struggle with Bont shoes when it comes to shape.
Overall, the FLRs are a lovely pair of shoes, with their only real 'weakness' for me being the flex in that sole. If you're not a racer, though, and are more of a spinner than a masher, you might get on with them very well.
Beautifully made and extremely comfortable but the soles won't be stiff enough for powerful riders
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road.cc test report
Make and model: FLR F-11 Pro Road Race Shoe
Size tested: 10.5
Tell us what the product is for
FLR says, "Elegant, aerodynamic and comfortable, the user-inspired F-11 shoes feature the perfect blend of performance, stiffness and support on the road."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
FLR lists these features:
Reel-knob dial and Velcro strap for a quick and secure closure
Breathable tongue with perforated holes
Mesh inserts for ventilation
Upper: premium breathable microfibre with strong ventilated nylon mesh
Cleat: compatible with C-20, C-30 cleat series and all 3-bolt systems
The F-11 uses a seamless upper design with FLR's new pro-last, comprised from a single piece of premium microfibre to conform to the shape of your foot like a glove. The lacing system uses a single dial & Velcro strap for a secure fit at each point of your foot. A combination of nylon mesh, perforated holes and a breathable tongue deliver excellent ventilation. The F-11 is equipped with the R250 outsole to boost performance and pedal power transfer without compromising on weight and comfort.
The R250 delivers uncompromising durability, performance and comfort, suitable for the enthusiastic cyclist. The newly designed nylon outsole offers a perfect combination of stiffness, weight and comfort. A front port improves ventilation. The outsole is equipped with two non-slip treads for safe walking.
The 12mm 3-hole drilling pattern is compatible with all pedal systems and includes 5mm cleat adjustability and a Look Memory Eyelet for easy cleat replacement.
They don't scuff easily and the large heel and toe bumpers will protect the sole.
The sole shape and the upper gives a great fit all round.
The sizing is spot on for a EUR 45. I had enough room for my feet to grow in the heat but not enough that my feet moved around inside them.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
FLR says, "Performance-driven with a pro-design, the F-11 will satisfy any rider looking for their next favourite pair of shoes."
I think the F-11s just miss that brief a little because of the sole.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Flexible sole gave me hot spots when riding hard.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
For the tech and build they are priced in line with a lot of the competition.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, for steady and relaxed rides.
Would you consider buying the product? No, I prefer a stiffer sole.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
The F-11s are very nice shoes and tick a lot of boxes when it comes to comfort and quality, though the sole will restrict their usability for some riders.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!